Saturday, March 17, 2018

Listen to the Regents afternoon meetings of March 14, 2018

We continue to archive the audio of the Regents meetings of this past week. Below are links to the two concurrent sessions from Wednesday afternoon, March 14. In the finance and capital strategies, the controversial boost in nonresident tuition was approved (pending approval of the full board the following days). Also in the afternoon sessions, there were boosts in certain professional school tuitions. And it was reported that the Dept. of Energy decision on continuing UC's managerial role in Los Alamos will be made in May. (Earlier, it was said the decision would be in April or May.)

Links below:

Academic and Student Affairs (and National Labs):
Finance and Capital Strategies:

Friday, March 16, 2018

Listen to the Regents' Morning Session of March 14, 2018

We're behind in keeping up with the Regents who met earlier this week. However, we do have the morning audio archives from Wednesday morning, March 14, preserved for posterity. Probably the main event occurred at the public comment session of the full board meeting when there were protests over a planned increase in non-resident tuition. (The increase - to no one's surprise - was ultimately enacted.) We'll check for other notable items as time permits, but yours truly has term papers to grade at this time of year.

There are links below to the morning sessions:

Full board:
Public Engagement:
Compliance and Audit:
Governance and Compensation:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Helping Hand from OC for UC

The libertarian-leaning OC Register, which is not always supportive of UC, has the words below in an editorial:

Public universities in our nation, very much including the massive “land grant” institutions of the Midwest and then the West, were 19th-century America’s great good gift to both general knowledge and economic progress in the world. If the Oxfords and Sorbonnes of the Old Word were nominally public places, they were in reality for the most part bastions of upper-class privilege.

Our pluralistic society would allow the quality of our public universities to fall at our peril. And yet that’s exactly what is happening right here.

Reviewing a book of essays by the great novelist Marilynne Robinson, who teaches at the University of Iowa — a place that, as she notes, democratizes privilege — Donovan Hohn writes: “Between 1980 and 2017, the combined tuition and fees at four-year public colleges increased on average 319 percent. Between 2007 and 2016, meanwhile, state spending per student declined nationwide by 18 percent. To compensate for these austerities, students and their families have taken on more debt, and public institutions have had to entice more out-of-state and international students able to pay full fare. In the name of anti-elitism and economic populism, legislatures have helped make state colleges and universities more exclusive, not less.”

The University of California system, long considered the strongest and deepest of America’s public universities, is very much subject to these national woes. But there are deeper problems here.

An international survey released last month that included nine of the UC campuses and more than three dozen majors showed that rankings of individual departments against their peers around the world dropped in 80 categories and improved in just 24.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, UC Berkeley and UCLA still were ranked in the top 10 universities in the world, which in this survey, by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, included both public and private schools.

The good news is that UC Berkeley is still tied with Harvard for third and that UCLA, the most-applied-to university anywhere, is still in seventh place.

But the alarming news is that the biggest declines in department rankings also came at those two campuses, which have long been at the top of the University of California heap. UCLA saw its rankings go down in 22 subjects and improve in four while Berkeley went down in 15 areas and up in just two. In the economically crucial fields of civil and structural engineering, UCLA’s ranking went down from 40th to 51st and Berkeley’s from second to fifth.

“There has been a steady, sustained disinvestment in the UC and this is the inevitable result,” Shane White, chairman of the UC Academic Senate, told the Times. “This is probably the tip of the iceberg.”

It is impossible to overstate the economic and cultural impact the University of California has had on our state. If we don’t continue to invest both public monies and crank up the private fundraising each campus must now do on its own, we risk losing a very important Golden State asset for us all.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Listen to the Regents Investment Subcommittee: March 13, 2018

The Regents are meeting at UCLA. Yesterday, their investments subcommittee met. You can hear their discussion at the link below. As usual, we preserve the audio indefinitely because the Regents maintain their recordings for only one year. Normally, the subcommittee would have reviewed the portfolio for the endowment, the pension, and "working capital" through December. However, since the stock market since then has been volatile, there was reference to more recent results. Also approved were various policy changes including conflict-of-interest rules.

There were no public comments. According to the LA Times, there will be protests today over tuition increases.*

A brief reference was made to the belief of both the investment staff as well as Regents that the current discount rate is too high. (In the past, they have suggested that a rate in the 6% range would be more appropriate than one in the 7% range.) Lowering the rate produces a larger estimated unfunded liability. ("Estimated" is an important qualifier; the unfunded liability is what it is. The estimate is a matter of accounting methodology.)

Finally, it was noted that under the choice arrangements now allowed for new hires, more and more employees will end up with a defined-contribution pension. Among other problems, that situation leaves them at "longevity risk," i.e., the risk of outliving one's income. There was discussion of the need to educate employees about their investment and saving behavior and the virtue of targeted investment funds that focus on less risk as the employee nears retirement age. That approach does not address longevity risk. So there was also talk about offering annuity options, maybe by 2020.

You can hear the discussion at the link below:


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Update on Trump Jam

Here is an update on street/road closures in connection with the Trump visit this afternoon:

 A stretch of the eastbound Santa Monica (10) Freeway has been closed in West Los Angeles, along with the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway, as President Donald Trump makes his way from Santa Monica Airport to the Beverly Park area for this evening's fundraiser.



From the BruinA professor accused of sexual assault in 2013 has lost his employment, said university officials in a statement Monday.
The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion released a statement on its website stating history professor Gabriel Piterberg has also been denied emeritus status and future employment with the University of California. The office added Piterberg will no longer have access to office space on campus.
Two of Piterberg’s graduate students accused him of making unwelcome sexual advances and forcing his tongue into their mouths in 2013. History graduate students Nefertiti Takla and Kristen Glasgow sued UCLA in 2015, saying the university did not properly handle their sexual assault complaints. UCLA suspended Piterberg for a quarter without pay in 2014, and settled the lawsuit with the graduate students in September 2016.
UCLA’s Title IX Office conducted an investigation against Piterberg in 2017 and found that Piterberg committed sexual harassment in violation of the university’s policies, the EDI office said in the statement. It added Piterberg’s removal from his position is a result of settlement negotiations between UCLA and Piterberg.
The university also removed Piterberg from his position as director of the UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies in 2015, required him to attend sexual harassment training and prohibited him from meeting with students individually.
Piterberg resumed teaching classes in January 2017, amid protests by student groups such as Bruin Consent Coalition and Bruins Against Sexual Harassment. However, the history department restricted Piterberg to only using his office during weekends and only holding office hours on campus in Charles E. Young Research Library during business hours with the office door open.
Piterberg disputes and denies the Title IX Office’s findings, according to the EDI office’s statement.
Earlier post on this matter:

Maybe we'll get more

As California lawmakers wrestle over how to spend — or save — an estimated $6.1 billion budget surplus, a bipartisan coalition of legislators is pushing to spend some of the money on the state’s prized university systems, averting tuition hikes.
The proposal unveiled Monday would give the universities exactly what they are asking for: a $263 million boost in ongoing funding for California State University and $197 million for the University of California.
That’s more than double the $92 million that Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed giving to each university system.
“We’ve got to buy out these tuition increases. We’ve got to fully fund the budget requests of the California State University system and the University of California,” said Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. “They are holding true to their promise to young people, but that promise has become increasingly out of reach.”
In January, amid an outcry from students and others, UC regents put on hold a proposal to hike in-state tuition by nearly $350 and out-of-state tuition by nearly $1,000. They plan to take up the proposals later this spring...

Update on the Trump Jam

Although details of President Trump's visit to LA today remain scarce, one report has him arriving at LAX at 3:30 pm and then maybe helicoptering to "Beverly Hills" to a fundraiser. So that suggests traffic jams in the afternoon. However, Beverly Hills city officials say that there is no planned visit within their city limits, so "Beverly Hills" could mean Bel Air or some other location near Beverly Hills. Protests on the Westside are also reportedly being planned. See:


Monday, March 12, 2018


The European Patent Office (EPO) granted a patent for CRISPR-Cas9 applications to Emmanuelle Charpentier, a co-discoverer of CRISPR and the cofounder of ERS Genomics, the University of California, and the University of Vienna. The patent has very broad claims covering the use of the technology and is directed to applications that use a modified version of the Cas9 protein.

This is the second patent issued to the company by the EPO for the gene-editing technology. The first was granted last March for the use of CRISPR across prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and organisms. The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, on the other hand, has had less luck in Europe—in January, the EPO revoked a foundational patent belonging to the institution because it did not meet the agency’s requirement to establish that its scientists were the first to use CRISPR in eukaryotes...

Change in Jams

Remember, back in the day, when we used to have Obamajams when the president came to town for fundraising or whatever?

We may have a repeat, possibly in the vicinity of UCLA, when Trump comes to Beverly Hills some time on Tuesday for fundraising. So far, no reports on precise location, time of day, street closings, etc. There are only vague reports:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Mnuchin Video

Screenshot from the now-released video
From Mother Jones: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin probably didn’t expect to get a hard time when he visited the the University of California Los Angeles for a public conversation with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal in late February. But things went so badly that, when the dust had cleared, Mnuchin “retracted his permission” to release a video of the event.

But thanks to the California Public Records Act, the video Mnuchin didn’t want you to see is now public. In an email sent after 5 pm on Friday, UCLA announced that it had just “received consent” from the Treasury Department to post the full video online...

Full story at

Video below:

Note: Ryssdal previously provided the full audio which we included in a prior blog post:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Clock Advance

Quiet time in university affairs, as we await the Regents next week. So we'll just remind you of the above chore tonight.

And also below:

Friday, March 9, 2018

Reminder: Don't Click

Reminder: Don't click on malicious emails such as the one above. It's not from UCLA. Note the bad grammar. It's a fraud.

More than forecast

The state controller's report through February - eight months into the fiscal year - shows revenues for the general fund running ahead of the original budget forecast by $4.6 billion. However, as we have pointed out, some of this extra revenue may be the result of the Trump tax law which put a limit on the deduction for state and local taxes. As a result, there was an incentive to prepay property and personal income tax that would otherwise have been due in 2018 for tax year 2017. To do so required paying by Dec. 31, but some of that may have spilled over into receipts in January. Possibly. some taxpayers may have prepaid more than they may turn out to owe. Close to $3 billion of the $4.6 billion came from personal income tax receipts. In short, it may be hard to interpret the figures until we at least get past April, the big tax month.

The controller's report is at:

Maybe it will change after all

Where does he stand?
In an earlier post entitled "Status Quo," we noted that City Councilman Paul Koretz seemed to be standing (literally) with the current Westwood Village Homeowners Assn. against the campaign to carve out a separate group that is being pushed by student groups and business owners in Westwood.* In LA, the stance of the city council member is critical for matters that occur within his/her district. However, it looks like political muscle has been added to the other side. The Business Improvement District known as the Westwood Village Improvement Assn. (of which I believe UCLA is a member or participant) seems to support the carve out:

The Westwood Village Improvement Association voted to support Westwood Forward at a meeting Thursday. Westwood Forward, a coalition of business owners, students, renters and homeowners, is advocating to separate UCLA, Westwood Village and North Village from the current Westwood Neighborhood Council. The association, a nonprofit organization tasked with improving the state of Westwood Village, voted 6 to 4 in support of the proposed council.
The coalition submitted an application to subdivide the current council in December. In February, the WWNC requested the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood councils in Los Angeles, stay with the coalition’s application until it conducted more outreach. Jim Brooks, chair of the WVIA and president of Topa Management Company, said that he does not think the WWNC benefits Westwood.
“The current status quo doesn’t work,” he said...

They must have forgotten

Click on image to download and then enlarge
Somebody at the UCLA Grand Hotel must have just forgotten in the web ad above to mention that staying at the facility is supposed to have something to do with a UCLA activity.* Otherwise, it's just another commercial hotel that is supposed to be paying various taxes. And, no, just saying you could go to Pauley or Royce if you wanted to, isn't a requirement that your stay have something to do with UCLA. You could also stay at the W in Westwood and go to Pauley or Royce, if you wanted to.

In order to be helpful, may we suggest this song - perhaps it could be played in the elevators - as a reminder for the next ad:

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Block asked to unblock

Group stands up to UCLA’s block of heckled Mnuchin appearance video


The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists Thursday called on UCLA Chancellor Gene Block to reverse a recent decision to not post a video recording of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s campus appearance on Feb. 26.

UCLA and the Treasury Department had an agreement to post the video of Mnuchin’s delivery of the annual Arnold C. Harberger Lecture at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, but Mnuchin withdrew his consent after the program turned rowdy and several hecklers were removed.

The website for the public-radio program Marketplace, whose host, Kai Ryssdal, moderated the discussion with Mnuchin, posted an edited transcript and the full recorded audio.

In a letter to UCLA, SPJ/LA noted that the university — a public institution that hosted a public event involving a public official speaking on matters of public interest — is under no legal obligation to comply with a federal government request to suppress the online publication of an official record of such an event.

A UCLA official told SPJ/LA that while there was no formal agreement with Mnuchin’s office, there was an understanding that the video would be posted on the Burkle Center website after the event. The official said this was the first time to her knowledge UCLA was asked not to post a video of an event after its conclusion.

“SPJ/LA believes it sets a very bad precedent for a public university, which has expressly dedicated itself to the values of academic excellence and civic engagement, instead to permit government officials overly sensitive to appearances to constrain academic debate and deny public engagement by effectively censoring UCLA’s online publication of the record of a public event held on campus,” SPJ/LA President Stephanie Bluestein wrote Block.

“UCLA’s decision seems particularly absurd in light of the fact that Marketplace, the public radio program hosted by Kai Ryssdal, who moderated Secretary Mnuchin’s discussion, has already posted the full audio recording on the program’s own website. How can UCLA do any less?”


Capacity? Cost?

From the LA Daily News: While the California State University system offers community college students guaranteed admission if they take the required classes, the University of California does not. That may soon change.
UC President Janet Napolitano announced that she is calling for the university system to begin exploring ways that guarantee admission to California’s community college students if they’re academically eligible.
Napolitano said the road to guaranteed admission could begin with the UC system’s 21 Transfer Pathways — recommended courses students can take that make them competitive for entry but fall short of a guarantee. These course pathways are available for 21 popular majors, such as chemistry, English, mathematics and film.
“Successful completion of a pathway, along with obtaining the requisite GPA, should entitle a community college student to a comprehensive review by all UC campuses and a guaranteed place in the UC system,” Napolitano said.
“This would be a major leap for the University of California — one that must be implemented carefully to achieve its desired effect,” Napolitano said.
Napolitano wants the guaranteed transfer arrangement in place by fall 2019.
Before the plan could be implemented, it would need to be approved by the Academic Senate, which sets admissions policy for the university. Depending on its recommendations, the UC Board of Regents may also need to agree to the changes. Community colleges wanting to participate would have to align with UC’s transfer policies...

Still more on the upcoming Regents meeting

According to the now-available more detailed Regents agenda, there will be a proposal to rescind a planned increase in employer contributions to the pension fund. This rescission is rationalized by the likely reduction in the expected state contribution to the university from a 4% increase to a 3% increase. There is also an allusion to recent strong gains in investments (a rationale that may have been written before recent wobbles in the stock market).

You can find the discussion starting on page 4 of:

More on upcoming Regents meeting

More detail is now available on the agenda items for next week's Regents meeting. On the Los Alamos bid for a renewal of the management contract, there is this:

LANL Contract Competition 
The current management and operating (M&O) contract for LANL expires on September 30, 2018. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) issued the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the follow-on contract on October 25, 2017. A proposal on behalf the University’s team was timely submitted by the December 11 response deadline. If the University team’s proposal is determined to be within the competitive range and fully compliant, NNSA will provide the team with written feedback on the proposal’s significant weaknesses and deficiencies. This written statement will be followed by orals. The amended RFP modified the orals process to include in the discussions not only the proposed Key Personnel team but also representatives from the bid team members. The “Questions and Answers” document that accompanied the amended RFP stated that NNSA anticipates holding orals during March 2018. After orals, the RFP will be amended again to provide instructions for a final proposal revision. As of March 1, the University’s team had not received the written feedback from NNSA nor any updates regarding the schedule for orals. It is still anticipated that the four-month transition period will start on June 1, 2018 to facilitate an October 1, 2018 start date of the follow-on LANL M&O contract. Accordingly, it remains the expectation that contract award would be announced in April or May of 2018.


It's unclear if the lack of response by March 1 is significant. It's also unclear if the current Trump-vs.-California brouhaha will affect the federal response to UC's bid.


Yours truly likes to point out from time to time that it is possible to hold events on campus in various locations without need for the Grand Hotel. The UCLA Anderson Forecast is a good time to do that. As for the forecast itself, below in italics is the summary (via an email from Anderson). You'll note that no recession is projected. However, the news release/summary doesn't mention the risks that were discussed to the economy from such things as trade wars (which could be conducted, it was pointed out, through financial means - not just tit-for-tat tariffs), over-stimulation of the economy leading to inflation and higher interest rates. Generally, the presenters viewed such developments, if they occur, as more likely to affect the economy adversely in 2020 than in 2018 or 2019.

LOS ANGELES (March 7, 2018) ― UCLA Anderson Forecast’s first quarterly report in 2018 sees a definitive change in the nation’s economy, which is moving from one of sluggish growth and low inflation to one of accelerating growth and moderate inflation. At the same time, with President Trump’s announced plans to increase tariffs on steel and aluminum, things could get worse, as domestic costs rise and foreign producers retaliate. Amid the changes forecast for the national outlook, California, still leading the nation in job growth, is expected to continue to outperform the U.S.

The National Forecast

The sudden 10% decline in stock prices and the rise in long-term interest rates in early February signaled what economists label a “regime change,” as the economic environment shifts from one of sluggish growth and low inflation to one of accelerating growth and moderate inflation. Concurrently, monetary policy is transitioning from one of accommodation to one of normalization, with four federal funds rate hikes in 2018; while fiscal policy moves from a moderate deficit to one with trillion-dollar deficits on the horizon. The $300 billion budget compromise during a two-year period, combined with the recently enacted $1.5 trillion tax cuts during a 10-year period, highlighted the demise of the so-called deficit hawks. The budget compromise also called for a substantial increase in defense spending, which ratified the Forecast’s long-held belief that the era of tightening in that sector is over.

The Trump Administration’s fiscal policy also will be playing a major role in increasing the trade deficit. “Because the United States is consuming more than it is producing, it needs to make up the difference through imports,” says UCLA Anderson Forecast Senior Economist David Shulman.

Real GDP growth is on track to continue its 3% pace, established in the second quarter of 2017. A growth rate of 2.9% is expected for 2018, but will slow to 2.6% in 2019 and a sluggish 1.6% in 2020.

Why the slowdown? “Simply put, the economy is already operating at full employment and is bound by slow labor force growth and sluggish productivity,” says Shulman. Nevertheless, job growth is expected to continue, albeit at a slower clip than in recent years, with the unemployment rate hitting 3.5% in early 2019.

Although housing activity will continue to expand through 2019, it will be far from a boom, thanks to higher interest rates and higher home prices, which exact a toll on housing prices. After recording 1.2 million housing starts in 2017, the Forecast anticipates 1.3 million units in 2018 and 1.38 million and 1.36 million units in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The California Report

California continued to be a leader in the nation in job growth, hitting all-time high employment in December 2017. Growth in net new jobs in the Bay Area in 2017, while still significant, eased toward the end of the year, but that was offset by increased growth in the Inland Empire, San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento and the Delta. During the last three months of 2017, employment growth accelerated in most of the state, with inland regions outpacing some of the faster growing, tech-dependent regions. It is expected that California’s unemployment rate will have its normal differential to the U.S. rate at 4.3% by the end of the forecast period (2020).

With a budget resolution calling for a significant increase in the purchase of sophisticated defense durable goods, demand for manufacturing and engineering in Southern California may increase, as will demand for technological developments throughout the state. “The increase in investment is likely to be in technologically advanced equipment and software. Thus, the California tech industry will see a bump in demand,” says UCLA Anderson Forecast Director and Senior Economist Jerry Nickelsburg. “To achieve this, more labor will be needed and wages will have to increase to draw the labor in, either from the sidelines or from outside the state.”

The forecast for 2018, 2019 and 2020 total employment growth in California is 2.2%, 1.7% and 0.9%, respectively. Payrolls will grow at about the same rate over the forecast horizon. Real personal income growth is forecast to be 3.1%, 3.6% and 2.8% in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. Homebuilding will accelerate to about 138,000 units per year in 2020.

Of course, there is also the governor's forecast:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Will DACA developments affect UC?

We have been posting about DACA and the position taken by UC. Two recent developments have occurred:

1) Although the recent judicial rulings keeping DACA in place were not overridden, a federal judge has now ruled for the Trump administration:

A federal district judge in Maryland on Monday upheld the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offers temporary protection against deportation and provides the right to work to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers. The ruling has no immediate practical effect, as federal judges in California and New York previously ordered nationwide temporary injunctions barring the Trump administration from ending the program as planned.

Whereas the other two district judges found that the administration’s reasoning for ending DACA was arbitrary and capricious and based on the flawed legal conclusion that DACA was unlawful, Judge Roger W. Titus of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland found that based on a review of the administrative record, “it was reasonable for [the Department of Homeland Security] to have concluded -- right or wrong -- that DACA was unlawful and should be wound down in an orderly manner.”

Judge Titus indicated he would have preferred to come to a different conclusion. “The result of this case is not one that this Court would choose if it were a member of a different branch of our government,” the opinion states. “An overwhelming percentage of Americans support protections for 'Dreamers,' yet it is not the province of the judiciary to provide legislative or executive actions when those entrusted with those responsibilities fail to act.”...

Full story at

2) The so-called California "sanctuary state" law has been challenged by the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ). (The words "sanctuary state" are actually not found in the law.) It appears from news reports that the challenge is confined to the state law and does not include UC's internal policies that are similar. Presumably, if the DOJ were successful in its litigation, UC's similar policies could be affected.

On the DOJ challenge, see:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

More on DACA from UC prez

UC urges Congress to pass bipartisan legislation for permanent protection of DACA recipients

UC Office of the President, Monday, March 5, 2018

Today (March 5) marks the Trump Administration’s deadline to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has allowed some 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children to live, work, and study in the United States without fear of deportation. Despite the federal court injunction that has put the rescission on hold, there is still no permanent fix for these Dreamers or others like them, and the fear of deportation continues to loom large.

The University of California, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that successfully argued to keep DACA in place while legal challenges continue, urges Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that permanently protects these young people.

The recent Supreme Court decision that keeps the injunction in place pending the appeals process was good news for DACA recipients, who can continue to apply for two-year renewals. It was also good news for the University of California, which includes thousands of DACA recipients among its accomplished students and staff. While the university is heartened by these recent legal developments, we are far from complacent. We will continue to fight against the planned rescission of DACA, which harms program recipients from a legal perspective and harms our country from a moral perspective. Congress must act.


Monday, March 5, 2018

NY Times Obit for Former Dean Richard Weinstein

Richard Weinstein was the former dean of the (former) School of Architecture and Urban Planning. The obituary is at:

Regents Next Week

The UC Regents are meeting next week, Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, March 13-15. However, the preliminary agenda - which is now posted - doesn't indicate that anything highly controversial will be on the agenda.

At this point, the posted agenda does not include the underlying documentation for each item.

We will check back to see if there is anything especially newsworthy when the complete agenda is available.

The current agenda is at:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

UC prez on Oakland immigration warning

Janet Napolitano when she was Sec'y of Homeland Security
From the San Francisco Examiner: While the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for warning Bay Area communities about imminent raids by federal immigration agents last week, the department’s former secretary on Thursday said that Schaaf made the right call.
Speaking at an event in San Francisco, University of California President Janet Napolitano said that the Oakland mayor was “totally within her rights in making the statements she did.”
Schaaf has said publicly that she has no regrets about the warning, which was issued Saturday, but she has faced heavy criticism from ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan, who denounced her decision as “irresponsible” on Tuesday.
But Napolitano, who served as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, called Schaaf’s statements “courageous” and added that they are a “product of the change in ICE policy” dictating that “anyone in the country who is undocumented is fair game.”
“That really disrupts immigrant communities,” she said. “To me it’s bad law enforcement policy and it’s bad immigration policy.”...

It will be interesting to see if there are now editorial comments on Napolitano's views. The LA Times, for example, ran an editorial condemning Mayor Schaaf's warning recently:

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Status Quo

If yours truly had to guess, this Facebook post from LA City Councilman Paul Koretz (who represents Westwood) suggests he isn't keen on a move by some UCLA students to split off and form a separate neighborhood council.* What the local councilman wants is likely to be what happens.

UCLA History: Easy Parking

Easy parking at UCLA in 1932

Friday, March 2, 2018

If you are on campus with an emergency, use a landline for 911

The Bruin carries an article indicating the on-campus landlines are the best way to make 911 calls to reach the UCPD:

Dialing 911 in Westwood does not guarantee that university police will receive the call. UCPD Lt. Kevin Kilgore said dialing from a cellphone in dense urban environments like Westwood can prevent emergency calls from reaching the nearest emergency communication center. UCPD has an on-campus 911 dispatch center, which is the emergency center closest to students dialing from Westwood.

But emergency phone calls are sometimes directed to other departments, including the LAPD and the California Highway Patrol, Kilgore said. He added emergency calls routed to stations outside of Westwood can cause delays for callers in crisis.

“If you’re calling from a cellphone, cellphones bounce off of towers,” he said. “Depending on what cellphone tower that bounces off of you may get UCLA’s 911 system, you may get LAPD, you may get CHP.” ...

Full story at

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Three Jeers

Mnuchin asked UCLA not to post video of speech where he was heckled

BRETT SAMUELS - 02/28/18 - The Hill

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) not to post a recording of a speaking engagement where students heckled him, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Mnuchin visited UCLA on Monday to take part in a conversation about the economy at the school’s Burkle Center for International Relations. During the event, students booed and coughed, frequently interrupting him.

After the event, Mnuchin retracted his permission for the school to post video and audio of the event to the internet, a UCLA spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal. posted a partial recording of the event, along with a transcript.*

Mnuchin reportedly addressed the hecklers multiple times during the speech, saying he typically speaks to “people who wanna listen to me speak.”

Mnuchin also at times appeared to clash with Marketplace radio host Kai Ryssdal, who served as moderator.

Mnuchin, who worked in the film industry before joining the Trump administration, fielded questions about the Republican tax-cut law passed late last year, economic sanctions on North Korea and other economic policies.

The audio is below. You'll find, if you listen to the recording, that nothing terrible happened during the speech. There was some hissing, laughter, clapping. Apparently, maybe before the formal program began, there was a woman removed for creating a disturbance:
Another tweet shows a woman being removed, reportedly during the presentation:

Title 9 issues at Berkeley despite Trump administration changes

UC Berkeley failed to give all students the opportunity for a formal investigation of their sexual harassment or assault complaints and did not resolve all of the cases in a timely manner, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights found.

The civil rights office reviewed UC Berkeley’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints from 2011 through 2014, and some from 2017. The office found that, though the campus has improved in some areas, it remained out of compliance with Title IX — the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination at schools that get federal funding — in key areas.

As part of a broad agreement with the federal office, the campus must revisit eight sexual misconduct cases it may have mishandled, and must tighten policies for educating students and employees on preventing sexual abuse...

Full story at